Saturday Night Live Creates Live-Action Beavis And Butt-Head, Starring Ryan Gosling

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Kenan Thompson’s the only one keeping it together here, although I don’t think anyone in the audience minded the unprofessionalism this time around. As past sketches like “The Californians” show, sometimes the breaking is the best part. “Debbie Downer” also wouldn’t be nearly as popular today (to the point where it coined the now-ubiquitous phrase ‘Debbie Downer’) if it weren’t for the fact that everyone laughed in it. “I still believe that sketch may be a cure for low-level depression if watched regularly,” Amy Poehler, who also broke in the sketch, wrote about it in her 2014 memoir. This new sketch seems designed to achieve the same effect. 

Also worth noting is that “Beavis and Butt-Head” is technically a sequel sketch. It’s following up on a 2018 sketch with Jessica Chastain where a member in the audience (once again Mikey Day) inexplicably looks like a live-action Bart Simpson. Not only does he have the same basic hairstyle and outfit as Bart, but his name is literally Bert Sampson. It’s no wonder he’s driving everyone else in the audience crazy. 

The tragic tale of Bert Sampson made for a decent sketch, one that was received positively by fans at the time but which never truly became well-known or particularly beloved. It’s probably due to how simple the premise is, how it’s not quite memorable enough to climb into “David S. Pumpkins” absurdist territory. Although this sequel with Beavis and Butt-Head doesn’t change much writing-wise, the infectious giggling goes a long way of helping it surpass its predecessor. Will “SNL” attempt to visit the premise again sometime down the line? It’s certainly possible, although without the organic laughter behind it, it might not work half as well.

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